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Vegan Parm Recall! Food Labeling & Hidden Ingredients

Not so vegan after all?

Not so vegan after all?

Galaxy Nutritional Foods is recalling 4 oz. cans of Vegan Parmesan Alternative because they may contain milk ingredients. Several people have reported allergic reactions, and I don’t want to think about how many of us in the vegan community may have consumed the stuff. They’re saying that the offending product is in jars with a UPC code of 77172-64000 and with expiration dates of 4/01/07, 4/15/07, 4/29/07, and 5/27/07. But what about the bottle in my fridge, which has the same UPC code but an expiration date of 12/02/06…? Call Galaxy Nutritional Foods at 800-441-9419, ext. 224, if you’re not sure whether to toss yours.

Unfortunately, milk seems to be the hidden ingredient of choice for food producers. In January, Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers recalled frozen dinners because of undisclosed milk ingredients, not to mention plastic! Boston Bay Foods products were also found to contain undeclared milk proteins not too long ago. And who can forget when it was revealed that McDonald’s french fries were being cooked in oil that contains dairy as well as wheat, an added concern for those of us with a gluten intolerance (though personally, I couldn’t even think about stepping foot in a Mickey D’s anymore, but that’s just me).

But it’s not just milk. Those who haven’t made the switch yet and are still vegetarian may have unknowingly consumed fish through some dairy and egg products, a result of cows’ and hens’ being fed fish.

Thankfully, in January, a law went into effect requiring manufacturers to clearly label food products that are derived from or contain any of the top eight allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soy. This was due in part to the large number of people suffering from food allergies, but hey, it helps those of us trying to avoid eggs and dairy too. Well, when it’s actually put into practice.

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